Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A little poem on St Andrew's Day

A small poem from Scotland's national bard Rabbie Burns - Epistle to J Lapraik, an Old Scottish Bard.

I am nae poet, in a sense;
But just a rhymer like by chance,
An’ hae to learning nae pretence;
Yet, what the matter?
Whene’er my muse does on me glance,
I jingle at her.

Gie me ae spark o’ nature’s fire,
That’s a’ the learning I desire;
Then tho’ I drudge thro’ dub an’ mire
At pleugh or cart,
My muse, tho’ hamely in attire,
May touch the heart.

If you’re not familiar with the auld Scot's words, here’s a wee bit of help.

This isn’t a translation as such but an explanation of some of the words, and an attempt at a plainer version to help you read it:
nae = no
hae = have
whene’er = whenever
gie = give
ae = one, a single
o’ = of
a’ = all
dub = puddle
hamely = homely

I am no poet, in a sense
But just a rhymer almost by chance
And I have no pretence to learning
Yet, what does that matter?
Whenever my muse glances at me
I jingle at her

Give me one spark of nature’s fire
That’s all the learning I desire
Then though I trudge through mud and puddles
At the plough or cart
My muse, though dressed in a homely, old fashioned style,
May touch the heart.

Enjoy St Andrew’s Day!

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